Superkilen A Project by BIG, TOPOTEK 1, & SUPERFLEX
edited by Barbara Steiner
Superkilen, a kilometer-long band wedging through one of the most ethnically diverse and socially challenged neighborhoods in Denmark, celebrates the dawn of a new type of public space. This large-scale public project— recipient of a 2013 AIA Award for Regional and Urban Design—is the result of an invitational competition led by the city of Copenhagen and the Realdania Foundation. Bjarke Ingels’ award-winning architecture firm BIG, landscape architecture studio Topotek 1, and high-profile artist collective Superflex were chosen to create an urban space with a strong local identity. The project was conceived as a giant exhibition space of urban best practices for public art and design. The Superkilen (literally, “super wedge”) is defined on the ground by three color-coded areas, each offering distinctive public programs and a strong aesthetic identity in shades of hot pink, neon orange and red. In order to celebrate the neighborhood’s rich multicultural heritage, the park’s design scheme integrates—in true postmodern fashion— a collection of globally found objects from the 60 home countries of the surrounding inhabitants. The grounds of the Superkilen are peppered with exercise gear from Muscle Beach, Los Angeles; sewage drains from Israel; palm trees from China; and flashing neon signs from Qatar and Russia, just for a start. Superkilen is a conceptual vehicle for integration, enforcing local sentiments of ownership while turning public participation into the driving force behind its design process. This gorgeous full-color document of that project features photography from renowned architectural image-maker Iwan Baan and book design by Rasmus Koch. Publisher: Arvinius + Orfeus
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